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2016 Outback Limited 3.6R
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Hi all,
So this is my first time owning a vehicle where I am actually going to have to make the recommended maintenance checks on a vehicle. I am about to hit my 30K mark here in a week or so. I have noticed that the average price I have found is about $400-$600 (Portland, OR area). Is this a normal price? Also do I have to have the dealership do this, or are there things that I can do as well? If I do this on my own, what do I have to keep in order to show that I have done the required checks and maintenance in order to not hinder my 100k warranty I have on the vehicle?
 

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Have you read your owners manual?

At 30k it’s basically an oil change and a brake fluid service. Brake fluid service alone is around $115 dealer price when you specifically ask for it.

Dealers love selling mileage based service packages to people who don’t read their owners manual. They do $400-$500 oil changes all day long and call them xxxx mile service packages.

Go read your owners manual call the dealer and ask for a quote for brake fluid service get a price. If the dealer dodges the estimate question and insists on some kind of mileage service package your being fleeced in a big way. If ypu have time to play the game ask them to email you the exact list and itemized price breakdown in this 30k service package. Hint they don’t have it cuze it is literally a 400% mark up on a basic item.
 

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If your really smart you ask them for price quotes for a couple of the factory listed service items in the owners manual and you write them right in the book next to the item Subaru has listed. Then you call a second shop and ask the same question.

My last Subaru was sold at 10yrs 180,000 miles it only cost me $800 in dealer services not counting the clutch job at 140,000. The kid who bought it just replaced it with a new subaru it had 320,000 miles on it.


Todays cvt Subarus the only dealer item you really need done is the front differential and cvt drain fill around 60,000 to avoid any screw ups that would damage the cvt and result in zero assistance from Subaru to fix it. All the other stuff any decent shop with subaru experience can do easily. My local Subaru dealer averages $200-$250hr shop rate vs my local guy who works on German brands and diesels charges $150hr. The subaru is boring work given its so simple.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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Gotta agree with @subiesailor here.

Here is a full break down of all maintenance you should have done now per the manual (and cars101.com)

6,000 miles/6 mos oil and filter change, rotate tires
12,000 miles/12 mos inspection, tire rotation, cabin air filter,
18,000 miles/18 mos oil and filter change, rotate tires
24,000 miles/24 mos inspection, oil and filter change, rotate tires, cabin air filter
30,000 mile replace engine air filters, brake fluid, and gear fluid as needed, oil and filter change, rotate tires

So 2 cabin air filters and oil changes/tire rotations every 6k. And 1 engine air filter.

Replacing the cabin air filter is super easy. Like comically easy. You don't even need tools.

I have a how to guide on replacing the cabin air filter on the site here: https://www.subaruoutback.org/forum...abin-air-filter-2015-2019-subaru-outback.html

Replacing the engine air filter really isn't any harder but you will have to pop the hood.

Beyond that they're not going to change your brake fluid or gear fluid out unless you've driven through a river or something is seriously wrong with the car.

I can't speak to the warranty changes it will make.
 

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The 30k check is essentially inspect for fluid leaks, inspect the condition of the belts, replace the air filter, replace the brake fluid, oil & filter change and a tire rotation.

Prices you are quoted are the going rate at most dealers. People get their panties knotted over it but it is what it is.

You can certainly do it yourself. Just save your receipts.
 

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The 30k check is essentially inspect for fluid leaks, inspect the condition of the belts, replace the air filter, replace the brake fluid, oil & filter change and a tire rotation.

Prices you are quoted are the going rate at most dealers. People get their panties knotted over it but it is what it is.

You can certainly do it yourself. Just save your receipts.
Want to know a secret? Every time you have the oil changed the dealer guys inspect the car looking for other service items they can make money on. You don’t pay $400 for an oil change do you?
 

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2018 3.6R Limited
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I use a great small, independent shop for routine service, and for simple repairs such as brake pads. Far cheaper than the dealer, they only do what's needed, and they're a pleasure to work with. I can't see any reason to use any of my local dealers instead. I keep documentation of every service visit just in case it's ever needed for a warranty claim.
 

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2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
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Prices you are quoted are the going rate at most dealers. People get their panties knotted over it but it is what it is...
Heh, not my part of the country, IME. Dealer service for most any make always comes at a significant premium. +1 for a reliable indy shop - I use a Subaru specialist and they are even a good bit cheaper than the local garages, while generally doing better work and always using OEM fluids (at a minimum).
 

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I once asked a local Subaru dealer (the one I do not use) what all was included in the 30K mile service. They listed a long list of items not required by Subaru. For example they were going to remove the spark plugs to clean and inspect them. I believe I have heard before that service writers make a commission on how many dollars worth of maintenance activities they can convince you to buy.
 

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Want to know a secret? Every time you have the oil changed the dealer guys inspect the car looking for other service items they can make money on. You don’t pay $400 for an oil change do you?
Only a secret to those that don't pay attention or never worked in the business.

Since I used to be a partner in a service facility I know how to generate business from those that ignore their auto maintenance. Pretty easy to do without having to make things up.

The GMC dealer where I took my Acadia has taken it to a new level. When you pull in for service your front end alignment is checked while the advisor checks you in. By the time your checked in you are handed a hard copy showing the status of your alignment.
 

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Only a secret to those that don't pay attention or never worked in the business.

Since I used to be a partner in a service facility I know how to generate business from those that ignore their auto maintenance. Pretty easy to do without having to make things up.

The GMC dealer where I took my Acadia has taken it to a new level. When you pull in for service your front end alignment is checked while the advisor checks you in. By the time your checked in you are handed a hard copy showing the status of your alignment.
Wow hey anything that impresses the Lululemon crowd.
 

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Only a secret to those that don't pay attention or never worked in the business.

Since I used to be a partner in a service facility I know how to generate business from those that ignore their auto maintenance. Pretty easy to do without having to make things up.

The GMC dealer where I took my Acadia has taken it to a new level. When you pull in for service your front end alignment is checked while the advisor checks you in. By the time your checked in you are handed a hard copy showing the status of your alignment.

I'm curious about how they "check" the alignment so quickly. For a long time I have gone to a specialized wheel and frame shop that works on everything from race cars to ready mix trucks. They tell me that half the work of lining up a car is getting it on the machine and installing the gauges so they can make accurate measurements

Of course if your dealer has something set up to "verify" that just about every car coming through needs a 4 wheel alignment, they don't need to check as carefully as this. Or am I wrong and they can measure it all in a couple of minutes with lasers?
 

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That's the same system my independent Subaru shop uses, and they also do custom alignments for track cars. Not something I'd expect they'd be able to just casually do for every car rolling through. They said the results from local tire shops were all over the place and the only solution was to purchase their own system.
 

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I'm curious about how they "check" the alignment so quickly.
It's some Hunter system that uses multiple laser's to accurately check the alignment. They seem to check every car coming in for service. Mine was checked even when only coming in for a routine oil change.
 

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Must be this https://www.hunter.com/alignment-systems/hawkeye.

There is a video to show how the measurements can be done in 2 minutes. This must be very expensive equipment to lease, so it would require dedicated bays and techs, explaining why literally every car coming through the shop would go be put through the process. But none of this smells right to me.



Then when you get the alignment done, you also have to hope that tech knows how to do it correctly. Not always a given. The tech doing the 2 minute measurement won't be doing the adjustments because he's too busy doing the 2 minute measurements. Besides, he doesn't know how, I'm sure it is a selling point for this machine that it can be operated by a minimal skill tech, who is just slapping some gauges on to wheels every 2 minutes, and this frees up the high dollar skilled wheel tech to do the alignments all day long. Does not smell right.
 

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Must be this https://www.hunter.com/alignment-systems/hawkeye.

There is a video to show how the measurements can be done in 2 minutes. This must be very expensive equipment to lease, so it would require dedicated bays and techs, explaining why literally every car coming through the shop would go be put through the process. But none of this smells right to me.



Then when you get the alignment done, you also have to hope that tech knows how to do it correctly. Not always a given. The tech doing the 2 minute measurement won't be doing the adjustments because he's too busy doing the 2 minute measurements. Besides, he doesn't know how, I'm sure it is a selling point for this machine that it can be operated by a minimal skill tech, who is just slapping some gauges on to wheels every 2 minutes, and this frees up the high dollar skilled wheel tech to do the alignments all day long. Does not smell right.
The one the local GMC dealer uses is not in a service bay. It is the drive in area where you drop your vehicle off for service. Alignment get checked while the advisor does your paperwork.

Not sure what doesn't smell right to you.
 

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The one the local GMC dealer uses is not in a service bay. It is the drive in area where you drop your vehicle off for service. Alignment get checked while the advisor does your paperwork.

Not sure what doesn't smell right to you.
Probably legit but it never hurts to be skeptical. As long as they aren't selling unnecessary alignments when really there is nothing wrong I'm okay with it. Kind of like the old full-service gas stations when they checked the oil and didn't put the dipstick in all the way and then showed the owner that it was down a quart on the stick. Then they come out with an empty oil can and make a show of pouring it into the engine and then magically the oil is at the full mark on the dipstick.

If they found something out of spec on their check I think it would be worth paying for an alignment check at an independent alignment shop and seeing if they show they same data, if for no other reason than to have peace of mind that the quick check at the dealership was honest.
 

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Probably legit but it never hurts to be skeptical. As long as they aren't selling unnecessary alignments when really there is nothing wrong I'm okay with it. Kind of like the old full-service gas stations when they checked the oil and didn't put the dipstick in all the way and then showed the owner that it was down a quart on the stick. Then they come out with an empty oil can and make a show of pouring it into the engine and then magically the oil is at the full mark on the dipstick.

If they found something out of spec on their check I think it would be worth paying for an alignment check at an independent alignment shop and seeing if they show they same data, if for no other reason than to have peace of mind that the quick check at the dealership was honest.
This dealer is pretty legit. They have been in business almost 100 years. My Acadia was done a half dozen times and always found to be in spec. I actually appreciated the check. Alignments are one of those things many of us put off until we spot unusual tire wear and have to buy new tires.
 
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